If you missed my article last week about my Solo Wedding in Santorini, find it here: My Wedding Gown.
The school holidays are coming to an end and already many of you are thinking about their next break!! Nothing more normal, so I thought that some travel photos could inspire you ...
After my articles on Paris and London, or Brussels, Athens and Madrid, which haven’t failed to demonstrate you that I’m a city dweller in search of culture and entertainment, the fact remains that I also adore the silence and the sea.
I’ve already mentioned this beautiful country of the Indian Ocean in my articles Favourite Animals and Sunset, but Madagascar is also a lush nature with incomparable beauty.
With an area of 587,000 km2 (226,642 sq. mi), it’s the 5th largest island in the world, after Australia, Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo.
Madagascar is one of my best trips, it was one of the countries I wanted to visit because of lemurs, I'm so happy to have also discovered its beautiful beaches.
And you know me enough now to know that my travels always goes with culinary adventure. Besides, I previously described the Menu of my Solo Wedding in Santorini, so yummy!!
In Madagascar, seafood obviously ...
Sometimes to discover a little paradise, it takes long hours in a 4-wheel drive on an unlikely track in the mountains, or a small boat in the mangrove, but it’s the traditional pirogue that I prefer to be even closer to the wild vegetation…
Madagascar is also people of great kindness, 26 million inhabitants belonging to 18 different ethnic groups (population equivalent to Australia for comparison).
To discover their daily life is learning their culture ...
The fauna of the island is rich in unusual animals, lemurs, but also zebus. The zebu is an essential domestic bovine in Malagasy life.
I'm waiting desperately for my passport to be renewed (and yes, passports have an expiry date, and you, do you know when it’s yours?) I can’t wait to go on a plane!!!
To travel is opening your mind to different cultures, to tolerance, to love.
A beautiful video below to fall in love with Madagascar...
Next article on: September 7th!
Have a good week!
Love & Travel,
I’ve talked a lot about my stay in Paris to celebrate my birthday (Read my Birthday in Paris), today it’s all about London!
Although I’ve visited this European capital several times - including during my hen’s night one month before my Solo Wedding in Santorini (for those who don’t know yet I married myself in 2017 after my fiancé broke off our engagement) - I’m always happy to come back again whether it’s by plane or Eurostar.
And as every time, the party lasts several days, so many things to tell you ...
Of course, my friends are indispensable in my life and even more during these moments so unique that I organise as much for them as for me.
However, I would like to say a big thank you to Milan, friend and manager of Elba Bar, who took good care of us. Being able to celebrate my birthday while admiring the city from this rooftop bar, which has a splendid view, and sipping delicious cocktails, will remain an unforgettable memory.
Having become addicted to pina coladas, this place became my lair in London.
To pursue in this friendly and festive mood, Circolo Popolare was the perfect Italian restaurant. Recently opened, its relaxed and magical atmosphere with all these little lights everywhere, matches perfectly with its authentic and refined cuisine.
I’ve done a lot of things in my life but I’m still surprised in many ways, and when the whole team of the restaurant comes to sing me Happy Birthday in Italian, I melt like mozzarella on a pizza ...
With these wonderful days, basking in the city's parks is pure delight, the Regent's Park for example.
This 166-hectare (410 acres) royal park is one of my favourites with its lake, numerous bridges, flowers and Primose Hill where you can relax and admire the city...
Or Hyde Park, a 142-hectare royal park opened to the public in 1637 joined with the 111-hectare Kensington Gardens.
Here you’ll find many statues, sculptures and monuments, including the Lady Di Memorial Fountain, a large oval granite fountain where families can come and wade. But also, the Albert Memorial in memory of Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, husband of Queen Victoria, measuring 47.5 metres high.
It’s also in this park where the Kensington Palace is, the current residence of Princes William and Harry (with their wives and children).
I’m glad that I’ve chosen the Park Grand Paddington Court Hotel to stay, a great location with a friendly staff and a good breakfast buffet. No doubt that I’ll stay there again next time.
Not far from there is Baker Street, does it remind you something? And yes, this was where lived the famous detective Sherlock Holmes in the novels of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The Museum in his honour restored the house the way he lived with his objects of everyday life. A small townhouse with 3 levels, the first with Sherlock's room and his office, the second where Dr. Watson and his housekeeper Mrs. Hudson resided, and the last level staging the famous prisoners and cases of the detective.
Get ready for time travel!
It's already time for dinner and let’s continue in this nostalgic atmosphere by going to Covent Garden Market at Buns & Buns.
A souvenir from Picadilly Circus on the way is highly recommended (you'll notice that Chris Hemsworth is gazing at me hahaha).
I saved the best for last.
Although I’ve organised many adult only parties in the past, and especially for women, some will recognise themselves! I never had a show for me, it was time to fix that ...
I chose one of the most incredible shows of the moment to honour me: Magic Mike Live!
Inspired by the two movies Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, which take place in the world of male striptease, Channing Tatum wanted to offer an alternative / suite to the movies by choosing to highlight the talents of each dancer (watch the following video). I must say that Channing is not part of the show.
This show for over 18 combines good music, a spectacular performance and a great sense of humour, reinforced by Adonis bodies, unicorns (it reminds me of my article Unicorns) and an unexpected staging. In addition to London, this show is also in Las Vegas and Berlin.
The temperature rises very quickly in the room, no way to be bored, and when it's over we want more (it reminds me of something hahaha).
However, that evening the show wasn’t complete, unfortunately half of the dancers were ill. "The show must go on" then makes perfectly sense!
I’d like to say a big congratulations to the team that night, the artists but also all the people behind, you have achieved an incredible performance!
We had free cocktails and free tickets as compensation, which is extremely generous and appreciable.
I’d also like to thank Emma, Customer Services Manager, for her kindness and outstanding professionalism.
I'm going back to London in a few weeks and I can’t wait to see the show in its original version!!
And what are you waiting for to take your tickets?? 😉
(The following video is for adults only)
London it's also Buckingham Palace, Kensington Palace, the Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, Riverbank and the London Eye (the Ferris wheel), Westminster ... And shopping on Oxford Street… I promise you’ll discover more in another article, until then, a video at the end of the article to make you discover or rediscover the main sights of London.
A reminder: no article next week, I give you more time to read during your vacation.
Next article: August 10, 2019!
Have a good summer and remember to stay hydrated!
Love & Water,
This is another year, time flies, not so long ago I was just a little girl looking for fun and discovery ... In fact, I haven’t changed!
Last year I happily celebrated my birthday in Santorini and talked about the stressful journey I had just experienced to freeze my eggs (Read again Article Gift of Science).
I am a July’s baby, so summer and the beach are necessarily my elements.
However, this year I chose two European capitals to blow my candles with dignity: Paris and London!
Why twice? And why not?? Who said that it was necessary to stick to a single party, I celebrate my birthday as many times as my friends wish to celebrate, and I have lots of amazing friends!!
So, for this new unforgettable evening, my friends have chosen a fancy place, beautiful and terribly romantic: the Bubble Bar with its terrace on the roof of the famous Moulin Rouge!
By the way, remember I already told you about it in my article Christmas in Paris.
Ambiance guaranteed, the perfect place to quench your thirst and dream in good company.
Well, the day after a party is usually painful, and in these conditions I need comfort and my favourite address is: Ytime Paris (55 rue des Archives in the Marais).
With its big teddy bear and Californian (or Australian) atmosphere, I take a bath of tenderness and light, and I revive myself with matcha latte and cookies.
We owe this beautiful place to Yazid Ichemrahen (Teddy's Dad), a talented pastry chef with an international reputation. And don’t be fooled by his handsome fashionable look, he’s a sensitive and fierce man.
Originally from Epernay in Marne (yes this is the region I talked about in my article Champagne), he grew up in foster care, experienced loneliness and violence, but it’s also at that time that he discovers his passion for pastry, a dream that led him to the light.
By the strength of his courage and determination, he worked with the greatest chefs and in 2014, he became World Champion of Frozen Desserts.
Since he’s a consultant, created his brand Ycone, and has just opened his second Ytime boutique in Paris (12 rue du Poteau in the 18th), and others to follow very quickly.
This concept store is his identity, passionate about surfing and escape. Cookies and brownies remind him of his childhood with his aunt and uncle. Ytime for the generation Y, his generation (he’s 27) and thus a healthy selection of salads, poke bowls, smoothies to consume on the spot or take away.
And because it's summer, take advantage of this beautiful sun to relax with a picnic on the banks of the Seine, happiness ...
The search for excellence always, fresh products, top quality, and no less than 200 tests to find the cookies to his liking.
He still has so many dreams in mind, he doesn’t wait for success, he runs after!
Thank you Yazid for this beautiful meeting, you are the perfect example that we must fight for our dreams, and you are a great source of inspiration for me and for so many others ... The best is yet to come for you, good luck!
When I'm in Paris, I like to walk around aimlessly and enjoy the magic and romantic atmosphere that only exists here.
There are always incredible exhibitions in Paris, and there are 3 at the moment that I liked a lot:
• Tutankhamun - The Pharaoh's Treasure, until September 15, 2019 at the Grande Halle de la Villette
• Helena Rubinstein - The Adventure of Beauty, until August 25, 2019 at MAHJ
• Maison Van Cleef & Arpels - Bird Paradise at the Ecole des Arts Joailliers
Don’t worry I’ll talk about it more in future articles ...
Tomorrow July 14 will be the French national day, and my article last year paid tribute to the firefighters and especially to the firewomen (Read Article Superwomen).
There will be many fireworks organised everywhere in France, and I love that, so I give you at the end of the article the Paris fireworks 2018.
No article next week, during the summer holidays, I publish only twice a month, but believe me I'm preparing a very exciting article with my birthday in London!
Next article: Saturday, July 27
Love & Freedom,
Although still very busy with my literary and artistic activities (Article Saturday), I really wanted to provide you an article this week.
Some go on holiday in a few days, others are still thinking about their destination, any occasion is good to get away and the subject of the day was then found.
Here we go again in Crete; I chose to show you Chania but the old city part to be able to admire its ancient vestiges and stroll in its paved streets with countless small shops and taverns.
Chania with 3 times less inhabitants than Heraklion, is the second largest city of Crete (about 55,000 inhabitants). Until 1971 it was the capital of the island.
Just like Heraklion or Rethymno, the city crossed the ages since Antiquity and the wars and invasions with: Minoan period, Byzantine period, then Venetian (the fortifications around the city date from this time), Turkish (construction of many mosques, fountains and public baths), and finally Ottoman.
Thus, we still find today the influence of all these cultures: the mosque of the Janissaries, the Venetian port with its lighthouse of the 15th century, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of 1860, the Roman catholic cathedral ... But the city also has several museums very interesting like the Archaeological Museum.
Boat trip in Souda Bay, a few kilometres from Chania to enjoy a pleasant sea and make a stop on Marathi Beach, the only beach on the north coast facing south, watch out for sunburn!
In April 1941, 25,000 soldiers, mostly New Zealanders and Australians, have been to Souda to fight against the Nazi occupation. The Allied military cemetery designed by architect Louis de Soissons is here to remind it us.
And now I am taking you to one of my favourite beaches, on the west coast of Crete: Elafonissi.
With its crystalline waters, white and pink sand, this beach is the perfect place to relax on a hot day ...
And it reminded me of the beautiful beaches of Australia (Article Brisbane).
At low tide you can even walk to the island of Elafonisi directly opposite.
Feel free to re-read the previous episodes:
Crete, Episode 1
Crete, Episode 2
Crete, Episode 3
No article next week, I'll be away to celebrate my birthday with lots of fun (July 1st), I'll tell you (almost) everything in my next article on July 13th!
Good week to all and happy holidays!!
Love & Sea,
Recently I show you pictures of my childhood, to know myself it’s imperative to know where I come from and to remember what has built me over the years. So, I continue this adventure with you today.
I grew up in the Alps, and although for many years now I live near the sea, I never get tired of seeing my beloved mountains again.
My daily routine then: ski, pastries and raclette!! Hahaha
Raclette is a specialty with melted cheese (we use a specific device that all French people have) served with boiled potatoes, cold cuts and gherkins.
Of course, with this type of diet I’ve never won a ski race, but I can already give me a fashion reward, definitely very stylish from all my 7 years of age...
There is a place where I spent a lot of time as a child and where I had my first foot bath: Annecy Lake (Haute-Savoie - France).
With its area of nearly 28km2 (approximately 15km long, 3km wide and 41m deep on average), Annecy Lake is the second largest lake in France of glacier origin after Bourget Lake in Savoy (45km2).
Around the lake or in the old town, strolling makes sense ...
One of the reasons why I’m back in France, it’s for the birthday of my young sister! Happy Birthday!!
The years pass but we remain the same cheeky monkeys always ready for giggles.
Conflans (Savoie - France) is another medieval city that I love, not far from where my mother was born and raised. Its fortifications protected the entry of the Tarentaise.
Tomorrow is Father's Day in France, so I wish a lovely day to my daddy!!
Have a good week!
Love & Family,
P.S.: the video is my sister’s favourite song!
With the articles about my Solo Wedding, as well as many Travel articles, I’ve already shared photos of sunsets, however, summer is coming in the northern hemisphere, and many of you are looking forward to the holidays. I thought that a little taste of adventure would be good.
I mentioned in my article Single that I travel alone, it doesn’t stop me from admiring sunsets with delicious cocktails and having fun!
Here a few just for you:
When music & dance accompany a beautiful sunset, I'm over the moon ...
I visited Thailand many times but today I chose the province of Krabi, in the south-west of Thailand, very popular with locals with its sandy beaches and sugarloaf mountains in the Andaman Sea. This province includes more than 80 small islands including Ko Lanta and Phi Phi. It also has many national parks with waterfalls and caves, ideal for walks, bird watching and climbing ... Its sunsets are among the most beautiful of my travels and it gives magical nights.
Hamilton Island (Australia)
When day and night are of equal beauty ...
Country I've already mentioned in my article Favourite Animals, and one of my most beautiful travels.
Finally, to be perfectly relaxed and feel already on vacation, a small video that will put you in the mood!
Love & Sunset,
I spend more time in the plane than in any other type of transport. I always have my head in the clouds and if you doubt it, check my Travel Articles.
It's simple, I like it so much that I had thought of becoming a pilot, until I went to Flight Experience Paris for a very special adventure.
This is a flight simulator on a Boeing 737, many pilots use it for training, but it’s also a great tool for stress management or for people who are afraid of the plane.
Almost every airport in the world is available, so you have an infinite choice of flights.
Everything seems very real, and if you look at the pictures, outside is fake! We flew in good weather and thunderstorms. Sensations guaranteed!
I wasn’t in charge of the controls, I accompanied my brother-in-law, however it was enough to realise that I prefer to be comfortably seated in the back sipping champagne hahaha.
There are 16 centres around the world, so don’t hesitate to try a Flight Experience.
But if there is one mode of transport that outweighs all the others, it's the helicopter. I was 6 years old the first time I had a ride, since, every time I can, I take the opportunity to satisfy my pleasure.
And today, I take you to a magical and timeless place, the Grand Canyon in the United States. It was one of my dreams to fly over by helicopter, and my wish was fulfilled in 2016. Just to talk about it, I have goose bumps, so magical ...
Embark with me to discover by the air, the splendour of this territory.
Grand Canyon National Park, founded in 1919, covers 4,927 km2 in the north of the state of Arizona in the United States.
The Grand Canyon, 277 miles (446 km) long, with an average depth of 4,265 feet (1,266m) and up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, offers a great spectacle with the Colorado River running below.
This is an incomparable geological richness, although the period of its appearance continues to be questioned, 17 million years old even up to 70 million years old (the dinosaurs’ era)! The mystery remains unsolved ...
I’m a fan of the U.S. and have had the opportunity to go there many times. I told you a lot about Christmas in New York.
This time, I was in Las Vegas, and of course a limo took me to my helicopter Sundance!
From Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, we have time to enjoy the flight and the many sights: the Strip Boulevard, Hoover Dam, Fortification Hill, Lake Mead, the Grand Wash Cliffs.
You had a glimpse of Las Vegas. Don’t worry, an article is planned this year to satisfy your curiosity.
Not to mention that next year I'm celebrating a new decade, and some of my guests have asked for Las Vegas for my Birthday party. So, I added it to the long list of possible venues, and I’ll keep you posted...
Have a wonderful Easter everybody!
Love is in the air ...
My best friend was in Brussels last weekend, so I thought to talk about this beautiful city this week.
On the northern border with France, just an hour and a half by train from Paris, it’s a perfect getaway with these beautiful Spring days.
After Madrid, Athens and Paris, let's discover together this other European city.
Brussels is the capital of Belgium with nearly 180,000 inhabitants, but it’s also the headquarters of the European Union.
Rich in history dating back to the Roman period, this city has preserved many buildings and remains of all ages, giving it a nostalgic and timeless charm.
Walking around the different areas of the city, you’ll travel through time, discovering the countless artistic and architectural vestiges: the Brussels Stock Exchange, the Cathedral of Saints Michael and Gudula, the Royal Conservatory, The Fountain of Minerva, the Palace of Justice, the Porte de Hal, the European Quarter, the Museums of the Far East ...
But also, the royal district with the Royal Palace of Brussels, the Brussels Park, the Mont des Arts, the Parliament, because as a reminder Belgium is a constitutional monarchy. And if you wish to see the residence of King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium, you’ll have to go to the Royal Castle of Laeken which is in the North of the city.
For a panoramic view, nothing better than the Atomium, built in 1958 with 102 metres high.
Brussels is also full of atypical museums such as the MOOF Museum, the Museum of Musical Instruments, and the Magritte Museum.
Many festivals are held all year, don’t hesitate to check in advance.
Just like Montreal, which I mentioned in a previous article (montreal-canada.html), Brussels is full of culinary specialities.
My favourites are:
Let's continue the visit not far from the Grand-Place of Brussels, with the most famous attraction: the Manneken-Pis.
Small bronze statue of 55.5 centimetres dating from 1619, and whose name means little man who pisses. It’s disguised throughout the year and it has no less than 1,000 different costumes (costumes that you can see at the Museum of the City of Brussels), so there is little chance that you see him dressed the same when you visit.
But it has its female equivalent too, Jeanneke-Pis much less famous and yet it is padlocked. This bronze statue of 55cm was created in 1985 and it's at Impasse de la Fidélité in Brussels.
And for those who wish to immerse themselves further, a video at the end of the article.
Have a good week!
Love & Chocolate,
Where were you a year ago?
Me, I was in Crete and I officially put online my blog (Article why-a-blog.html )!
I was visiting friends between two attempts to freeze my eggs in Madrid (Article gift-from-science.html).
If you had asked me where I will be in March 2019, I would have been unable to answer you, and I certainly wouldn’t have told you in Crete. Even though I spent a lot of time in Spain last year (Articles rainy-dayin-madrid.html & las-palmas-canaria.html), I never really left Crete because I keep coming back ...
So many things happened ever since. We can accomplish a lot in 12 months. Be proud of what you have undertaken and have confidence in the future, we’re going to continue to grow up together.
Where will I be in March 2020? No idea! Keep following my adventures to find out.
Meanwhile, the subject of this week was obvious: Crete for a new episode.
As a reminder I've already talked about Heraklion (crete-episode-1.html), Rethymno (crete-episode-2.html) and their surroundings.
I told you in the previous episode that I will talk about Greek mythology.
Long before the Gods of Olympus, Cronos and Rhea, both children of Ouranos (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth), ruled the Universe. They had five children: Hestia, Demeter, Hera (that I’ll talk more in a future article), Hades and Poseidon. All eaten by their father Cronos, because his parents said that one day, he would be dethroned by one of his children.
Then Zeus was born, but while Cronos was about to swallow him too, Rhea exchanged the child for a big stone wrapped in a blanket. Cronos didn’t notice and Rhea went to hide the child in an underground cave, safe from the world and his father, on the island of Crete.
Diktaean cave is located at 1,025 metres altitude, not far from Psychro above the Lasithi plateau.
We have to climb 800 metres of slope on a stony path to reach the entrance of the cave. All along, the view overlooking the Lasithi plateau is beautiful and soothing. And for those who prefer, donkeys are available for ascent.
Once at the top, you just have to go down the innumerable stairs that takes us to 800 metres deep with a small lake. Legend says that Zeus was bathing here ...
And as I was going to visit a mythical place, I wore my favourite t-shirt with the hope of seeing a unicorn!! (Article unicorns.html).
Then we go up all the stairs and we go down the hill ...
Zeus may have been hidden in another cave on the slopes of Mount Ida, still in Crete, but I haven't visited it yet.
Zeus became an adult and wanted to free his brothers and sisters. Stories diverge but Cronos regurgitated all his children as well as the stone.
After many battles, Zeus became the King of Gods.
So, you have to be patient in life, everything comes at the perfect timing…
It is said that wisdom comes with age, but just like a tree, one must first have roots well planted to grow, flourish and resist storms.
This brings us to the charming little village of Krasi, still close to the Lasithi plateau, another very symbolic place in Crete since a huge plane tree sits in the middle. This tree is said to be over 2,000 years old and would be the oldest tree in Crete. It was declared a monument of nature in 2011.
No wonder that in the past, many artists came for inspiration here. Notably, Nikos Kazantzakis, a famous Greek writer (1883-1957), whose famous novel Zorba the Greek was adapted to the cinema
Hope you enjoyed this article.
I take this opportunity to wish my friend Emanouela a very happy birthday!
Χρόνια πολλά! φιλάκια πολλά!
Have a good week!
Love & Patience,
And long live the carnival!!
I hope everyone had a good Mardi Gras and enjoyed the festivities of your city or the surrounding area.
I would like to share with you a carnival I enjoyed during my travels, Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria.
While last year my body struggled with European cold weather, after 10 years spent in tropical countries, I escaped to the Canary islands to warm up.
There, the carnival gives rise to several weeks of colourful festivities and music, including the parade of 'murgas' (in Spanish), carnival troupes composed of dancers and musicians. Atmosphere guaranteed!
I’ve watched the parade on the beach of Las Canteras in the heart of the city of Las Palmas.
Two kilometres of golden sand and pedestrian path sheltered from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Any reason is good to get there, whether to bask, surf or for a concert at the Auditorium.
Really there is worse as decor...
Las Palmas is the capital of Gran Canaria and has nearly 400,000 inhabitants.
The historic centre of Vegueta is absolutely charming, it takes us back in time, with its old buildings, museums and palm trees, hence the origin of its name because the city was built on the site of an ancient palm grove.
The surrounding area offers nice views and above all you can visit the coffee plantations, and you know my addiction for this delicious drink (Article coffee-addict.html)!
I hope you enjoyed this little getaway. It made me feel good…
And to keep the mood, and because I wish I’ll go to the carnival of Venice one day, watch below the opening video of the carnival of Venice 2019!
Have a great weekend!
Love & Dream,
One of my friends has just had laser vision correction, so it reminded me of memories, and I congratulate her!!
I travel for lots of reasons and you’ve already read a lot about it, especially with the article my-favourite-animals.html.
However, the reason why I’ve been to Montreal is very different. In the past 2 years, I’ve been dedicated to accomplishing personal goals. Too many things that I left unfinished for lack of time or motivation.
The laser eye surgery to get rid of my myopia was on my list and it was done in 2017.
Friends advised me to go to a well-known clinic, Lasik MD which is everywhere in Canada including Montreal. I had never been to Canada before, and I really wanted to discover this country. With cheaper rates than in Europe, the difference allowed me to pay a week's holiday there. I didn’t need more to make me cross an ocean...
From my first phone call for information, then to making appointments and tests, and finally to surgery, everything was perfect. The staff at Lasik MD Montreal was very friendly and professional, they almost made me forget that I was there for a laser procedure, especially when the surgeon hugged me after the surgery to tell me that everything had gone well.
An impeccable organisation thanks to a very accessible team, which allowed me to complete everything in four days! My preoperative consultation took place on Tuesday, the laser correction on Wednesday, a last check on Friday and on Saturday I could fly back to Europe. Hard to be more efficient.
I had already consulted before but like many people I was a bit afraid, and I kept postponing. I regret not having done it earlier, there was no fear to have, the operation only lasts a few minutes, and the world is so much more beautiful without eyeglasses or contact lenses.
Between us, I didn’t find the operation pleasant, let's be clear, it's a bit like going to the dentist, it doesn’t necessarily hurt but it's uncomfortable. The two hours that followed were painful for me, a burning sensation that prevented me from opening my eyes but that's it. I had no other inconvenience or complication. It’s definitely worth doing.
The next day, I saw life as I hadn’t seen it for 25 years, and I had already forgotten what I looked like with eyeglasses!
The icing on the cake was obviously to discover Montreal, a cosmopolitan city, vibrant and friendly, with a hundred festivals a year, many exhibitions and great museums ...
Remember, I already told you about this city for Jean-Paul Gaultier's exhibition (Article fashion-exhibitions.html) and Barbie Expo (Article barbie-exhibition.html).
I enjoyed my stay there, a cross between the United States and Europe, a mix of history and modernity, but where they speak both English and French. Montreal is part of the province of Quebec where French is the official language. It’s the second largest French-speaking city in the world after Paris.
Last week I told you that you couldn’t die of thirst in Santorini (Article wine-in-santorini.html), actually in Montreal either, given the number of bars, pubs and clubs in the city. But above all, you can’t starve!
I highly recommend trying poutine, a typical Québécois specialty prepared with French fries, cheese curds and a brown gravy. This is the classic recipe, but many restaurants have created more, such as La Banquise which now serves about 30 different recipes ...
The smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s, an institution in Montreal, created in 1928. Expect to queue in the street before to get a table.
Don’t forget pancakes and maple syrup!! Some shops offer maple syrup tasting, take the opportunity to discover the different kinds.
And many more, bagels, crêpes…
After so much food, a walk is recommended, again the choice is not lacking, whether in the beautiful park of Mount Royal or along the St. Lawrence River.
This city was discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1535, a mountain he named Mont-Royal, that's where Montreal comes from. It is now Canadian second biggest city after Toronto, with more than 1.7 million people.
Here time stops, we relax, we breathe and we enjoy!
Montreal was a wonderful experience, as much as one from a personal and cultural point of view. This city is full of energy, no wonder it was voted the best student city in the world in 2017.
Shortly after, I took the plane to realise an even bigger dream, the freezing of my eggs in Madrid (Reread Article gift-from-science.html).
Now your turn to make your dreams come true...
Have a good week!
Love & Dream,
After talking about dinner (Article wedding-menu.html ) and champagne (Article champagne.html ) at my wedding, I want to tell the wines we had.
When we think of Santorini, we imagine the white facades and the blue-domed churches, the cliffs, the caldera, but what we forget is the vineyards. And yes, the island is full of them, nearly 1,500 hectares, and it’s one of the oldest vineyards in Europe, no wonder that its wine has become so famous.
The vines are shaped in a circle to form a sort of nest, called "kouloura", this method protects them from wind and sun. Two elements that are very present in Santorini.
For the place of my wedding, I had the choice between the chapel or the vineyard, completely by chance I chose the vineyard hahaha!
Venetsanos Winery in Megalochori. Located on the cliffs overlooking the caldera, and producing delicious wines, this was the perfect place for my solo wedding in Santorini.
White wine, red and rosé (unlimited) to satisfy my guests. Not to mention they were treated to a tour of the property and a tasting while I was doing my photos.
For my first wedding anniversary I opened the bottle that had been offered to me by Venetsanos, just to plunge me into the atmosphere again...
Certainly, a place that I recommend, for a visit, a tasting, shopping, photos and why not a wedding??
More information on their website: venetsanoswinery.com/
One of my favourite white wines is from Santorini, and that before I go to this enchanting island.
There are 3 grape varieties for white wine: assyrtiko, athiri and aidani. When assembled, we discover the Nykteri, a dry white wine to taste absolutely.
For red wines, count on mandilaria and mavrotragano.
Some houses also offer rosés, like Venetsanos.
But the island's most famous wine is Vinsanto, a sweet wine made from late harvests. Some may sometimes prefer the Mezzo, less sweet.
Feel free to visit Santo Wines, the Santorini Wine Cooperative, established in 1947 with 1,200 members. The view is also splendid and you can relax while enjoying a wide range of wines from the island.
And for those who want to know more, visit the Koutsogiannipoulos family Wine Museum in Vothonas. Eight metres deep and 300 metres long, this magnificent museum tells the story of viticulture in Santorini since 1660, as well as all the stages of its making. A wine tasting is also offered at the end of the visit.
Discover the vineyards of the island, you won’t be disappointed. Nothing is more extraordinary than enjoying good wine while admiring the incredible sunsets of Santorini.
One thing is certain, you cannot die of thirst in Santorini hahaha!
Have a lovely weekend!
Love & Wine,
Some of my friends made me dream (and warm) with their holiday pictures (Tahiti, Maldives, Cape Verde), so I thought that a bit of sunshine and scenery would be great!
Remember in the first article about Crete (crete-episode-1.html), I talked about the capital city Heraklion.
If Santorini is my beloved island because of my solo wedding (Articles www.blogaboutl.com/blog/category/solo-wedding), Crete also has a certain charm and today we are heading to my favourite city, further west, still on the north coast, to Rethymno.
Rethymno is the third largest city in Crete with more than 55,000 inhabitants.
It was built during the Minoan period and as Heraklion, this city has experienced a succession of cultures and civilizations (Byzantine, Roman, Venetian, Ottoman) as evidenced by some vestige.
It’s a charming city that I particularly like because it’s very pleasant to wander through the cobbled streets of the old town. There’s a sweet life here, a mixture of ancient city and seaside resort.
It’s a lively town with trendy shops, and for party goers, Rethymno is a student town so it provides an attractive nightlife with many bars and clubs.
The main attraction is undoubtedly the fortress, it’s still called by its Italian name the Fortezza because it was built by the Venetians in the 16th century, but the Ottomans seized it in 1646.
Thus the St. Catherine Chapel coexists with the mosque of Sultan Hibrahim, two monuments still preserved.
The view from 1307 metre length of ramparts also offers a breathtaking view of the sea and the city.
After so much stroll, beach is relaxing, and if Bali is the famous name of an Indonesian island, Crete also has a beach with this name.
It stretches between Heraklion and Rethymno and has four distinct beaches: Livadi, Vankotopos, Limani and Karavostasi.
A small video from the sky to enjoy this beautiful beach.
I hope you enjoyed this little Cretan getaway, there will be others this year, Crete is an island full of gems and next time we’ll talk about mythology!
Have a lovely weekend!
Love & Joy,
First article of the year and I can only be proud of last year and excited of the one to come.
Many things have happened in my life over the past two years, and I thank you for the support and love you bring to me every day.
2018 was the continuity of 2017 with the freezing of my eggs in Madrid (Article gift-from-science.html).
I was a finalist in a photo contest for the international art magazine 1340 (Link 1340art.com/), magazine that wants to display my photos since.
But also, a huge step in my life and my reconstruction, the creation of the blog that many of you follow now (Article why-a-blog.html), and some of my readers do not fail to remind me when I'm late in my publications! Thank you for your loyalty.
Incredible surprises came out of this, like my story that went viral in the international press, with icing on the cake, the cover of Closer UK and a TV interview on Alpha TV with Eleonora Meleti (Article 1st-tv-interview-behind-the-scenes.html).
Life is surprising, and the universe keeps showing us the way, but you have to know how to open your eyes and your heart, and that's what I’m learning to do day by day ...
Journalists don’t get tired of my story and another article in a British magazine is coming soon.
2019 should also see the publication of my book that I’m finishing writing. Another dream that I intend to achieve, and which I hope will definitely change my life. Some passages will be online soon!
Thank you to my friends for sharing some of the highlights of their lives in 2018.
Congratulations again to the happy parents: Chrisa & Kosta, Fay & Mike. Both couples have each a beautiful little girl.
But more babies coming in 2019, and many more celebrations!
One of the favourite moments of my year was certainly the wedding of my little sister in Champagne, a year after my solo wedding in Santorini (All articles here www.blogaboutl.com/blog/category/solo-wedding).
And also, the wedding of my friends in Paris, Christophe & Arthur (Article superwomen-3.html).
Not to mention all the beautiful people that I met and that led to new amazing friendships.
Many trips in 2018 and many articles to read or rediscover.
Around the world: Gran Canaria, Madrid (Article rainy-dayin-madrid.html), Athens (Article rainy-dayin-athens.html), Crete (Article crete-episode-1.html) with a new article to come, Santorini (Article santorini.html), Brussels.
In France: Annecy, Albertville, Grenoble, Lyon, Reims (Article champagne.html), Paris (Article disneyland-paris.html), Versailles (Article palace-of-versailles.html).
I wish lots of new adventures in 2019, and keep dreaming, it’s the first part of the journey!
I wish you all an excellent new year, rich of good surprises, beautiful people, iron constitution, love in gold and glittering joy!!
And Happy Epiphany!
Love & Joy,
P.S: for those who are in France, please keep me a piece of Epiphany cake 😉 or send me photos!
After my Christmas articles around the world, New York (christmas-in-new-york.html), Paris (christmas-in-paris.html) and Brisbane (christmas-in-brisbane.html), you understand how much I love this festive season.
Whether in the streets, shops or houses, Christmas magic is everywhere for our greatest joy, including in Reims (France).
But if there’s a place where you can really show off, it's at home! And the shops have understood that very well, because every year, we are tempted again and again to buy new ornaments even if our garage is already full of boxes.
And this year, I’ve bought a sheep for the crèche (hahaha).
From the famous Christmas tree to the dining table, including outside and every square millimetre of our interior, madness takes us and no question of leaving a single decoration not used in its box.
But finally, plates are stealing the show!
Every year, I become the Christmas tree fairy, how do you not know this fairy? Well, that's my tradition, you have the right to copy, I'm happy to share.
I like to believe that the tree is decorated with a thousand decorations, in a few seconds thanks to a magic wand, while the truth is, it takes two days minimum ...
You know it from now on, I’ve kept my childlike innocence, and I’m a fan of Frozen, which is very convenient to find ornaments.
Obviously, in Australia no real tree but Santa is still giving us presents.
Last year, I’ve also created a Santa’s Village with plushes.
When I start, it’s difficult to stop me and I admit that I love this period, because it lets my creativity express itself (a little too much sometimes hahaha).
From the fairy, I can quickly turn into a diva too, who said that the decorations were only for the Christmas tree?
Well this year, I think I'll be more in pyjamas, it's also good to relax, to eat chocolates and watch Christmas movies, well wrapped in my duvet.
Especially that sometimes, it happens that I take Christmas too seriously and I become too Christmassy! Hahaha
I don’t have a chocolate Advent calendar this year, so I’ve prepared a plate full of chocolates and stop people who already think that there are more than 25 chocolates! When we love we don’t count, and I have a lot of love for chocolate, and coffee too (Article to reread coffee-addict.html ).
Each family has its own traditions, some decorate their Christmas tree in November, others on Christmas Eve. Some trees are artificial, coloured or not, of all sizes. Sometimes presents are much bigger than the tree. Others don’t have a tree…
In Spain, a predominantly Catholic country, the crèche and its characters are taken very seriously, check the wall of a department store in the photos below.
Everyone builds their own world, pursues family traditions and invents new ones, even more with the arrival of new partners or newborns.
A tradition that I discovered in Australia and that I kept, Christmas crackers. They are part of the Christmas table decoration and are placed on the guests' plates.
We must crack the cracker with our table neighbour, the person who keeps the cracker, wins the prize that is inside. Obviously, the gift is a function of the price of the cracker, usually a trifle but it's funny.
Fortunately, only 3 days before to open the presents! I can’t wait for Santa to deliver me from my intolerable wait. I need to know among the 8760 wishes from my list (365 days per 24 hours, a gift per hour and day 😉), which one he has chosen!
As for the tree, everybody has its own rules, some families open the gifts on December 24, others on the 25th, and still others at any time.
This is the whole principle of Christmas, to share, to give, to receive and above all to express our love for each other.
Sometimes, however, we don’t really know what Santa Claus was thinking about, kitchen knives for Little Miss Trouble, fortunately no incident to regret that night.
And when we were very very nice during the year, we can have surprising presents under the tree ...
My favourite bar is in a festive mood too:
Thank you to all the people I love who sent me these beautiful pictures:
Santa Claus has asked me to help him this year, so no article next week, everyone will be too busy, see you next year!
And at the end of the article, two of my favourite singers who celebrate peace, freedom and love.
I wish you all a very merry Christmas 2018!
Love & Joy,
After New York (see Article christmas-in-new-york.html ) and Paris (see Article christmas-in-paris.html ), I had enough of snow and cold, so for this new article, I take you to the sun, and to a very special place, a country dear to my heart, Australia!
As you know, Australia is in the southern hemisphere, which means that it's summer in December.
Some say it's great, others that Christmas without snow isn’t really Christmas, for my part I loved every Christmas there and I have a merry memory about it, because far from our families and from our traditions (and snow), we learn to invent new customs and discover those of our adopted country. Nothing more exciting than novelty!
For 7 years, I’ve spent Christmas in Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, and for nothing in the world I wouldn’t have missed this, because this city comes alive for the occasion and in summer, nothing more pleasant than hang out at night in the light of Christmas decorations and fireworks. It’s undeniable that I have kept my childlike innocence and I look forward to this time of the year that speaks to this part of me.
What I love:
• Picnic on the sand watching a Christmas movie on a giant screen, with children playing in the pool and the illuminated city in the background. Of course, I'm talking about open-air cinema at South Bank, Brisbane's artificial beach, where Christmas movies and cartoons are projected every night.
• Discovering the short-animated film projected on the magnificent facade of the Brisbane City Hall. The Christmas tale changes every year, and this year, it’s about a little girl who would like to live a white Christmas (it doesn’t snow in Brisbane). So, she goes to visit Santa Claus at the North Pole with her kangaroo friend, but soon she misses the warm weather and her swimming pool! I miss them too!!
• Having a wander through the beautiful enchanted garden of Roma Park, looking for Santa's fairies and elves. Absolutely magical! There is a long queue every year so it's better to be prepared, but it's a beautiful display.
• Admiring the fireworks every evening at 8pm from December 20th to 23rd. Brisbane is famous for its fireworks, including the Riverfire, held annually to close the September Brisbane Festival. But I must admit that Christmas fireworks is special and angelic with its own music and songs.
• Watching the Christmas Parade on Queen Street.
Everything I’ve mentioned is FREE, the Brisbane City Hall and its partners are happy to offer its residents and visitors these shows and entertainment for the festive season, so enjoy!
To know all about this season, visit these websites:
Christmas in Brisbane is mainly about friends and cooking! I’ve even had a Greek meal and I ate caviar for the first time!
But everything is turned upside down, we eat strawberries instead of clementines, we make barbecues instead of chimney fires, and we play bowls in shorts instead of going to the ice rink ... Very confusing at first but we accustom, and I admit it’s rather nice to wear summer dresses at Christmas.
Pavlova is the traditional Christmas dessert in Australia. It was created in 1920 in Australia or New Zealand when Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova toured these countries. It’s composed of a very crispy meringue outside and soft inside, covered with whipped cream and fruits. Perfect in hot and humid weather! However, mixing cultures is great, and some of my French girlfriends are very talented in yule logs!
If I remember these different Christmas, where have I been for my first Christmas? Noosa on the Sunshine Coast = beach. The second year? Coolangatta, Gold Coast = Beach ... Well, so many places here: the coasts, the islands, and of course the Great Barrier Reef.
And yes, the beach is part of the tradition in Australia. In general, families celebrate Christmas at the beach around a nice barbecue and watch Santa Claus surfing the waves. He has the right to relax after the crazy night he had!
You’ll notice how white the sand is, and it’s very thin too, like flour. However, there are certain places where swimming is strictly reserved for a certain population, these V.I.P.!
Don’t forget to send me a photo of your Christmas tree or to tell me about a tradition that is important to you: firstname.lastname@example.org
And thanks to those who have already done it.
Have a Merry Festive Season everyone!
Love & Joy,
And for those who want to see more, a video for you:
I hope you’re feeling the Christmas spirit after my last article about New York (christmas-in-new-york.html). Today, I chose another truly magical city for Christmas: Paris. And you'll see, we'll go back in time, at the Belle Epoque ...
First, breakfast at the Café de Flore founded in 1887, a famous place to cross a few celebrities, and as it seems that I’m becoming one (Check page Media), it’s perfect.
I like to walk in Paris in winter, the air is fresh and invigorating, the light is peculiar on certain days, cold and bluish. And without the leaves on the trees, we see monuments and buildings differently ...
As a reminder, the Eiffel Tower was unveiled in 1889 during the World Fair in Paris. It consists of four pillars forming a square of 410 feet side, and it’s 1,063 feet high.
Unfortunately, no ice rink this year. Skating 187 feet above Paris was an unusual experience though!
However, we’ll be delighted with the almost 30,000 square foot of temporary ice rink (from December 16 to January 9) installed in the Grand Palais and titled for the occasion the Grand Palais des Glaces (The Great Ice Palace). For sure, a historic and magical place to slide...
However, to relax, nothing beats the beautiful Christmas shop windows.
Since 1909, Paris has automatons in its windows and every year, machinists and creators amaze us with great creativity and genius.
By the way I don’t forget to go shopping! And some stores, well, attract me more than others with their paintings of undressed Adonis.
A break from time to time, we are in the capital of world gastronomy!
In addition to admiring the illuminations, there are countless things to do in Paris at night, as in any major European city: restaurant (again, yes, I know!), theatre, concert, ballet ...
• The Moulin Rouge (Red Mill), so French! Created in 1889, the same year as the Eiffel Tower. Why a mill? There were about thirty on the hill Montmartre to grind grain, corn, plaster and stone.
• walk to Montmartre and admire the Sacré Cœur by night, this basilica was officially achieved in 1923.
• but also, the Bouglione Winter Circus, perfect for families, a 42-meter-diameter building inaugurated on December 11, 1852.
A little recap in a video:
Of course, I couldn’t conclude this article without talking about Disneyland Paris. The park lights up even more at this time of the year and Santa Claus doesn’t miss the opportunity to come. We have already visited together the park (To read or reread disneyland-paris.html) so in this article, I offer you a small video that puts us in the mood, we could almost smell Christmas by watching it.
And here for you, the song of the latest Disney movie, The Nutcracker and the 4 realms, so as not to lose our childlike innocence, and wait patiently before the arrival of Santa Claus.
Have a good week!
It's December 1st and Christmas is coming! I’m excited because I love this time of the year with its various traditions, all its lights and its performances. No matter the country or the city, there’s always something unique to discover.
All this month of December will be dedicated to this festival in different cities of the world.
Europe has already had its first snow and the city that we’re going to discover too!
I’ve been to New York several times and I love this city. But if there’s a time of year when this city is even more magical, it's Christmas time! And I was lucky to realise that dream last year.
Everything you see in movies or series is very real, New York is adorned with its best ornaments to delight everyone.
So, sit by the fire or wrap yourself in a warm blanket and follow me:
Whether in the stores, in the windows, in the street, in the Christmas markets, or in Central Park, magic is everywhere and takes you in its whirlwind of light, colours and enchantment.
The magnificent Rockefeller Center Christmas tree shines with 50,000 led lights, and this year it has a new very shiny Swarowski crystal star, made of 3 million crystals for 900 pounds.
The shops creatively compete every year to transport us to another world and they succeed very well:
But when it snows outside, and we start to get cold, better continue the adventure inside, it's just as magical, and it's a good excuse to shop at the same time!
I also like to take refuge in building’s lobbies, each entrance is decorated with care, don’t be afraid to venture, most of the time you’ll even find a coffee shop to relax, and you know my addiction for this drink (Article coffee-addict.html ).
The lobby decoration of the Empire State Building is my favourite, a mini museum on a few square meters.
The very famous 5th Avenue with its luxury boutiques decorated like nowhere else.
But if there’s an event not to be missed in this street, it’s the light show on the facade of the department store Saks. At the end of the article you will find the opening video 2018.
Central Park, with or without snow, is a unique place to wander and daydream, or in my case eat the famous cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.
The reason why I really wanted to go to New York for the holidays, it's due to my passion for art and dance. I’ve always dreamed of seeing The Rockettes and their very famous Christmas Spectacular at the Radio City Hall, with its 36 dancers lined up at the same time on stage. And in December 2017, my wish was fulfilled!
I took the opportunity to have a guided tour of the Radio City Hall, I’ve discovered its history, seen behind the scenes and met a Rockette.
The building was built in 1932 in the Art Deco style and it’s an integral part of the Rockefeller Center. And the show has been performed since then, which means for 86 years!
Even today, it’s the largest theatre in the world with a capacity of 6,000 people.
The Christmas tree chandelier at the entrance is in Swarovski crystal, 10,000 in total!!! It measures 35 ft tall and 17.5 ft wide, and weighs 3,000 lbs. I can assure you that it’s massively brilliant and impressive. Its installation takes 2 days.
Obviously after all this, I need a break, cocktail, cookie and burger, perfect combination!
Before concluding this article, I would like to request your participation. You have already decorated your Christmas tree or you’ll do it soon, so send me its picture at email@example.com
I will publish my favourite trees in the article of the 22nd of December!!
Wish you a lovely Christmas season everyone!!
The opening light show of the Saks 5th Avenue to enhance our Christmas spirit (from the 16th minute):
The summer holidays seem far behind us, so I thought it would be good to remember some good memories to brighten our autumn days.
Today we fly to Crete! Another island in the Aegean Sea, just in front of Santorini santorini.html. If Santorini is dear to my heart after my solo wedding , Crete has become my second home.my-solo-ceremony.html
Crete is the largest island in Greece with an area of 8,336 km2, with 1,046 km of coastline and more than 600,000 inhabitants. It's the 5th largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, after Sicily, Sardinia, Cyprus and Corsica.
Often cited in Greek Mythology, Crete is believed to have been inhabited for 130,000 years, and has experienced several great periods of development, associated with very different conquests and cultures: prehistoric period, Minoan era, Mycenaean civilisation (remember the mask of Agamemnon rainy-dayin-athens.html), Roman Empire, Byzantine, Venetian period then Ottoman, and finally attached to Greece in 1913.
Rich in this history, we find the traces of these civilisations in many parts of the island.
There is so much to say about Crete, so this article is the first in a series of a few episodes, in order not to miss anything of this beautiful destination. And to begin episode 1, the capital Heraklion and its surroundings.
Heraklion is the capital and largest city of Crete, with more than 140,000 inhabitants, making it the 5th largest city in Greece. Heraklion is also the largest seaport of the island and the main link to the mainland, not to mention the many ferries that serve Athens and the other islands of the Aegean Sea.
With the succession of civilisations, this city still has many vestiges, including a part of the ramparts, which offers a nice walk: Agios Minas Cathedral, Venetian Loggia, Church of Saint Titus, Morosini Fountain, Koules Fortress, the market, the Historical Museum of Crete ...
I also like its archaeological museum with the most beautiful collection of pottery I’ve ever seen, I keep visiting it, this museum is a jewel of the island, but I’ll devote a whole article to this subject very soon.
For those wishing to discover more about Heraklion, a video is available at the end of the article that will show you all the highlights of the city.
And like any adventurous day, a break is required! My favourite places: Crumb in the centre of Heraklion that reminds me of my Australian habits, matcha latte with coconut or almond milk, gluten free chocolate cake, but also Greek specialties like spinach pie...
Then, Spyridon, a few kilometres from Heraklion, at Kokkini Hani, paradise of dessert and ice cream, and my favourite place for waffles to accompany my coffee (last article coffee-addict.html), don’t count calories here hahaha!!
Next stop: Knossos!
The Palace of Knossos is the cradle of the Minoan civilisation, known as the oldest civilisation in Europe (circa 2700 to 1100 BC).
It covered nearly 5 hectares with the only main building of an area of 3 hectares.
It was composed of more than 1000 pieces, serving as both administrative and religious centre. This also included several areas dedicated to storage, especially for olive oil, wine, wool ...
The Palace was very modern with its equipment: natural ventilation system, bathrooms, toilets and running water.
There was also a theater that could accommodate 400 people.
It’s the largest archaeological site in Crete from the Bronze Age.
The site was discovered in 1878 by a Cretan antique dealer, then in 1900 Arthur Evans, a British archaeologist acquires it and begins a large excavation site.
The palace was rich in colours and frescoes, made of stones and uncooked bricks.
In addition, the Knossos Palace is associated with the legend of Minos King, where he lived and built the Minotaur’s maze according to Greek mythology.
To better imagine the size of this palace, a short 3D video for you, you will recognize some of the pictures seen previously:
And for those who prefer a relaxing day at the beach, there are nice spots even around Heraklion:
If it’s more convenient to rent a car to discover the island, I like to use public transport, it gives me plenty of time to admire the landscape. And that's what I see when I take the bus to go shopping:
A sunset is always special, no matter where, but Crete is truly inspiring! Have a good week!
P.S.: For those who want to discover more about Heraklion:
One of my favourite drinks is coffee. And stop laughing those who thought it was alcohol, it's a hobby it's different! But this is not the subject of the day.
It isn’t known exactly how coffee was discovered, although it probably originates from Ethiopia, but from the 15th century "coffee houses" appear in the Middle East. In the 17th century, its consumption spread throughout the world, first in Italy, then in the rest of Europe and finally in the United States. Which led of course to a growing production.
According to the statistics 2017 and to my surprise, the first consumers of coffee are the northern countries: Finland with 10.35 kg per person per year, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark ... Italy is 7th with 6.69 kg, France 13th with 4.80 kg and Greece 16th with a consumption of 4.52 kg.
I have been drinking coffee since the age of 14, from espresso to long black, cappuccino and from Greece freddo espresso translated by cold espresso. I discovered this drink during my stay for my solo wedding in Santorini my-solo-wedding.html and I admit that it's very refreshing during summer. This is a double espresso shaken with ice cubes. Then served in a glass filled with 2 third of ice.
A barista friend and I had a debate lately about the history of expresso, disagreeing with its origin, I did new research to confirm my statements.
Although Angelo Moriondo created an espresso machine in Turin, Italy in 1884, the original idea dates back to 1822 when Mr. Louis Bernard Rabaut, a Frenchman, decided to use steam to extract roasted coffee. Since then, this beautiful invention has continued to be improved again and again for our greatest pleasure.
I like coffee so much that I don’t sweeten it, I prefer to keep the full natural flavour, but I often accompany it with biscuits or sweets of all kinds at any time of the day. And coffee is essential when I have to get up at dawn to travel for an interview (Article to read or re-read 1st-tv-interview-behind-the-scenes.html).
Peppermint mocha in the United States at Christmas time is not bad either (Article to come), avoid the extra cream or otherwise we forget chocolates, some excess is ok but we still need to fit into our dress for NYE!
What is good with coffee is that I can find it everywhere, so even if I travel a lot, I always get my daily dose. I admit it’s a good excuse to meet baristas too!
Barista is an Italian word which means bartender, preparing all types of drinks. However, when the word has been introduced in the English language, it has slightly changed to describe the preparer of coffee and operator of an espresso machine. This description has been kept in French and German.
A love song to finish this article, because coffee and I, this is the longest romance I've ever had! Hahaha
I hope you all had a very scary Halloween this week, full of tricks and treats!!
I know that some were at Disneyland Paris, lucky you! Which reminds me of one of my articles disneyland-paris.html .
By the way, do you know where the word Halloween comes from?
Halloween or Hallowe'en is a contraction of Hallows' Even or Hallows' Evening, which means the evening before All Saints' Day or All Hallows' day.
My favourite place for Halloween is in Athens, it's a café called Little Kook. It’s in the city centre, close to the famous Monastiraki Square.
The decorations are incredible, I think there’s not a square millimetre unexploited. And to add to the already fussy atmosphere, a thick velvet curtain bars the entrance. Behind, one or two horrible witches are waiting for us to show the premises, and incidentally give us a table. Here pancakes, cakes, cupcakes are kings, in short, the scary kingdom of sweet! Don't try to resist, it's already too late...
Although Athens is one of the sunniest cities in Europe, sometimes it rains...
So, to complete my series of cities in the rain, after Madrid rainy-dayin-madrid.html, let's continue with this ancient city. You’ve already discovered a part last week 1st-tv-interview-behind-the-scenes.html, and I’ve promised to share some of my favourite addresses. So, grab your raincoat and follow me!
This city is full of incredible museums, and to start I take you to the National Historical Museum, located in the neoclassical Palace of the Old Parliament, Stadiou Street 13, Kolokotroni Square, Athens 10561. This building housed the Parliament of the Hellenes until 1935 and since 1960, this is the museum.
Its permanent exhibition traces the history of Greece from the Ottomans to the Second World War. It’s composed of innumerable objects and relics displayed in chronological order.
This year the museum also hosted a temporary exhibition presenting the different traditional Greek costumes, in collaboration with Playmobil. A fun and original way to attract children to discover this universe.
Well, you will say that I repeat myself but when it rains, I like to eat, well, when the weather is nice also hahaha!
So, for our break, I chose Cookie Land. I love this place for 2 things: their kataifi, filaments of filo dough filled with sugar, cinnamon, almonds and pistachios, and their vaflaki (mini-cubes of waffle) with bacon and cheese! With a coffee obviously (Article to come).
Let's continue with another museum that I particularly like, the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, 44 rue Patission. It was established in 1889 and is the largest archaeological museum in Greece.
It displays nearly 11,000 objects on 8,000 square meters, from early Prehistory to Late Antiquity.
Museum where you will find the golden mask of Agamemnon! But also, an impressive collection of funerary objects, sculptures, Egyptian antiquities, and a hall dedicated to the ruins of Akrotiri, a city of Santorini in the Bronze Age.
A short walk in the evening, all cities have a particular charm in the dark, but I think Athens becomes even more mystical, as if time stopped. Well, almost, because here they like to party until late at night, and cafes, bars and restaurants abound with a splendid view of the Acropolis obviously! City Zen, 360, La Vista, Savaas ... Don’t be afraid to venture, the access is made by lifts hidden in small entrances.
Back to Kimon Hotel, I like staying here when I'm in Athens, it's located in Plaka, my favourite neighbourhood, halfway between the busy shopping streets and the Acropolis. So, I can walk easily or take the metro.
And to finish this busy day, a very funny Halloween video to relax. Enjoy!
Meta ta Mesanyxta 'After Midnight' with Eleonora Meleti on Alpha TV, Athens
Three years ago, when my ex-fiancé and I chose Greece to celebrate our wedding, I never thought how important this place would be to my heart.
From now on, this country is associated with my solo wedding in Santorini and my rebirth (Read previous article 1st-anniversary.html)
A few days ago, I was invited to a TV show on the biggest Greek channel. On Tuesday, October 23, 2018, thousands of viewers discovered me.
I wanted to share this special moment of my life, so here is this extraordinary day told step by step:
1 / I am not a morning person and waking up early is a torture. Nevertheless, I can get up without being grumpy for 2 reasons, whether I travel or work on my blog. This time, I get up at dawn for these 2 reasons!
2 / Head in the clouds, I fly to Athens.
Athens, which means the city of Athena, Goddess of Reason, Prudence, Military Strategy and Wisdom. What a highly symbolic place for my first TV show! I couldn’t wish a better place.
3 / I’ve asked what I had to wear for the occasion and was told: something comfortable for a late night show. Obviously, I’m very used to this kind of event, I do this every day, I knew immediately what to wear (ironic) - finally, after having tried all my wardrobe!
I finally opted for a romantic, elegant and feminine outfit.
Dress and belt: Promod
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Bracelet: Tiffany & Co. by Elsa Peretti
Hairstyle: Un Brin de Jenny
4 / I am picked up at my hotel to go to the studio. Very different from French studios which are very accessible in the middle of cities. This Alpha studio is very isolated and well guarded.
I go directly to makeup where other guests are already there, and also the translator for my interview.
A matte base, zero shine and nervousness that starts to rise even if my smile doesn’t show anything ...
5 / That's it, it's time, I discover the studio set
Many people, cameras, screens, and Eleonora, the presenter, who sees me and immediately comes to meet me. She is charming and very smiling, she puts me at ease instantly. Eleonora Meleti is a well-known and popular journalist in Greece.
Everyone on the set is adorable, they come to greet me, support me. There is even a half Greek Frenchman. The atmosphere is very relaxed.
They explain the process, install me and adjust my microphone, I take a deep breath and concentrate.
Making my first TV appearance was certainly not something I was prepared for. Especially when it comes to 30 minutes of interview. And to make the exercise worse, because as you know I don’t like when it’s simple, Eleonora was addressing me in Greek, the translation was given to me in English, so I answered in English making sure I was looking at my hostess, while the translator translated into Greek instantly. You’ve followed?? Because even me, I’m lost hahaha. So, in summary, my brain heard Greek and English at the same time and I had to try to answer without always remembering the questions!
But I think that watching the video doesn’t need any comment, my interview starts from the 36th minute, unfortunately it’s in Greek, the subtitles are not yet available, however there is a nice video at the beginning (Photo Credit: Alexander Hadji).
You can find all the videos of the show on Alpha TV website:
Greece, the country of my solo wedding, and where so many people have shown so much interest, support and love for my story. I feel good in Greece...
I’ve received even more sympathy after the show, and some people recognised me in the streets of Athens.
Thanks again to Eleonora Meleti, Sotiris Skouloudis, the whole team of Meta ta Mesanyxta and Alpha TV.
6 / Return to the hotel and I admit that it’s difficult to regain my senses. So much excitement and emotions in such a short time ...
7 / Of course I couldn’t leave Athens without going for a walk and relaxing with my friends. Above all, I couldn’t let you without having made you discover this beautiful city! And all my favourite addresses will be in a future article dedicated to this city.
To conclude, a song by P!nk that I particularly like, and which says: I will never surrender, there is nothing but a victory! Well, it could be Athena's words, couldn't it?
In preparation for my first TV interview in Athens, it seemed obvious to talk about my solo wedding again.
Regarding the different interviews I’ve had recently Media, a question came up often, what did you eat?
And as I've already mentioned champagne in a previous article champagne.html here is the logical continuation.
Greece was not chosen by chance, I like Greek cuisine! So obviously for my solo wedding in Santorini, the menu was traditional.
Just thinking about it, I salivate, all these Mediterranean flavours, olive oil, olives, octopus, squid, feta, taramosalata, moussaka ...
To be honest, any excuse was good to eat, so the day before the ceremony we’ve had a rehearsal dinner, and the day after the wedding, a lunch by the beach (article to come with my favourite addresses).
The feature of Santorinian cuisine comes from some products that are not found elsewhere, such as some small tomatoes and favas, small yellow beans. Thus, some recipes are typical of the island such as fava purée or tomato fritters.
And precisely, it was impossible for me to choose among so many delicious dishes, I wanted everything for my wedding dinner! So, the buffet was the best option.
Santorini BBQ Wedding Buffet provided by Spicy Bites Catering:
Selection of breads & kalamata olives
Santorinian salad – Greek – with feta cheese, capers and virgin olive oil
Taramosalata – Dip prepared with fish roe
Eggplant & tomato slices, cooked in the oven with feta cheese and oregano
Tzatziki – Yoghurt dip with cucumber and olive oil
Fava – Santorinian yellow split peas with onion rings
Tomato fritters, local recipe
Grilled chicken fillets with lemon juice
Grilled lamb chops with oregano
Grilled swordfish fillet
Baby roasted potatoes with fresh onion and oregano
Variety of Greek desserts
My guests and I enjoyed it, we often talk about it with a bit of frustration because we would like to eat it again!
Of course, a wedding is not a real wedding without a cake and mine was created by Petranart, Megalochori, Santorini. A cake with fresh strawberries and vanilla cream. Unfortunately, in the euphoria of the evening I ate only one piece. I had such a regret that when I returned to Santorini this year, to celebrate my first wedding anniversary and my birthday, I reordered the same cake! When we love, we don’t count hahaha...
Thanks again to Spicy Bites Catering, Mr Petros from Petranart, but also Venetsanos Winery for the venue, Alexander Hadji (photographer), and of course Maria Alexopoulou & Katerina Panagopoulou from Divine Weddings Santorini.
Thanks also to my culinary partners who shared all these wonderful moments immortalised in these photos. What would we be without food?? Hahaha
Bon Appétit !
"If you can dream it, you can do it. » Walt Disney
I really like this quote, this man was witty. Someone who made a fortune with a mouse! Sometimes you just need to believe it and it works.
Walt Disney or his full name Walter Elias Disney, was born in 1901 in Chicago (Illinois) and died in 1966 in Burbank (California).
Producer, screenwriter, animator and foremost entrepreneur, his success owes it to the Walt Disney Company he created in 1923.
Through his creative and adventurous vision, he created the first theme park in the world, Disneyland, the only park he designed and inaugurated in 1955 in Anaheim, California.
Since then, many "kingdoms" have been built around the world: Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, Hong Kong Disneyland Resort and Shanghai Disney Resort in China, and of course Disneyland Paris.
Disneyland Paris was inaugurated in 1992 and the 2nd park, Walt Disney Studios opened 10 years later in 2002.
This is the 5th time I go and I still love it!
I really thrill rides and especially roller coasters. But Disneyland has something unique that can’t be found in any other theme park, magic ...
And as Halloween approaches, more effect!
I told you about thrills before so here are my favourite attractions:
Star Tours and Peter Pan, 2 flight simulations that blew me away!
Hyperspace Mountain catapulted me into Star Wars.
'It's a small world', going around the world by boat, my dream is realised ...
Big Thunder Mountain or how a train transports you in the middle of the American canyon...
When there are no more, there are still some!
Walt Disney Studios
Here is the realm of thrill, the Tower of Terror, the Rock'n Roller Coaster or Armageddon.
And even when you think the Crush's Coaster is harmless, well believe me this is a hectic adventure waiting for us ..
Finally, we feel safe on the tram of the Studio Tour, except that again, explosive surprises await us:
After so many emotions, beautiful shops are waiting for us:
Thank you, Mr. Walt Disney, for being able to speak to the child who is in us!
Have a lovely weekend everybody!!
Autumn is here in Europe, rain is back.
Which gave me the idea of a new series of articles that will make you travel this time. And for this first article, I chose Madrid. Remember, I've already talked about this city in a previous article gift-from-science-part-2.html , logical continuation after my solo wedding.
I admit that when it rains, I like to stay in pyjamas all day to gorge on TV series and sweets of all kinds. But sometimes, I take my courage in my hands or rather with an umbrella and a raincoat, and I go for a wander ...
So, follow me today, you will see that life can also be beautiful with wet feet!
Obviously, a hearty breakfast is required before any walk and there are plenty of places in Madrid. There is something for every taste and every budget. Most cafes and restaurants are indoors, which suits us with this weather. Will I choose a traditional brunch with serrano ham, tomato puree, and Spanish tortilla, or churros (addictive donuts), or other European sweets? Hard to decide ...
In the up and down streets of Madrid, I pass buildings I already know and yet with a grey sky, everything is different, my eyes linger on other details, I rediscover these so familiar streets.
The rain is relaxing, it makes the problems flow, the sound is calming, and we can discover things differently, including the beautiful rose garden situated inside the 118 hectares of the majestic El Retiro Park.
The rose garden is beautiful in full sunlight but in the rain it's dreamlike. I’ve strolled for hours in these alleys, all these delicate petals covered with drops. Obviously, only a few people have ventured with this weather, which amplifies the tranquillity of the place and gives me plenty of time to wander and dream ...
After several hours spent in the rain, coffee break is required, and there is no hesitation, you will find me at Motteau! This is my sweet break of the day, especially when I'm homesick because here you taste French pastries.
Not to mention that the setting is charming and very welcoming, I always feel like having coffee with friends, which is so, Juan the boss and Tamara are so friendly.
When I stay in a foreign city for a long time, creating a routine and habits is fundamental. And even if I like solitude, having familiar faces around is essential. Thank you, Tamara and Juan for your kindness and your delicious cakes!
And since I'm not far, let's go to the Caixa Forum, there are always incredible exhibitions. This place reminds you something, and you're right, because that's where Andy Warhol's exhibit was, to read or reread andy-warhol.html
Today, I’m interested in Adolf Loos’ work, an Austrian architect of the early 20th century, this exhibition inspires me a nice article (coming soon).
In the same district, you will also find the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, where I shared with you the article about Sorolla and the fashion sorolla.html
But let’s go to the Prado Museum, a few steps away. Two hours before the museum closes, access to the permanent collection is free. Great classical paintings to contemplate, from Greco to Goya via Velazquez, Rubens and many others, perfect for ending the day.
Another tough choice of the day, dinner. Paella, calamari sandwich - typical of Madrid, ham, or not at all Spanish but so comforting, a pizza.
What is good with big cities is that you can find world cuisine. Which is very nice when you stay several weeks at the same place. And no, I don’t have pleasure eating, you know it's just food hahaha.
Night has fallen, and everything looks different, what a beautiful sight to relax before going to bed. I'm going to have sweet dreams, no doubt.
Who said when it rains it’s boring?? 😉